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To tame pursuits, to indolence and fear?
For what the eternal Maker has ordain'd
The powers of man: we feel within ourselves
He meant, he made us to behold and love
Whom Nature's works can charm, with God himself
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE FRANCIS EARL OF HUNTINGDON.
THE wise and great of every clime,
To mortal sense impart :
They best the soul with glory fire;
And high o'er Fortune's rage enthrone the fixed
Nor less prevailing is their charm
No, Hastings. Thou my words will own : Thy breast the gifts of every Muse hath known; Nor shall the giver's love disgrace thy noble name.
The Muse's aweful art,
And the blest function of the poet's tongue, Ne'er shalt thou blush to honour; to assert From all that scorned Vice or slavish Fear hatlı
Nor shall the blandishment of Tuscan strings Warbling at will in Pleasure's myrtle bower; Nor shall the servile notes to Celtic kings
By flattering minstrels paid in evil hour, Move thee to spurn the heavenly Muse's reign. A different strain,
And other themes,
From her prophetic shades and hallow'd streams, (Thou well canst witness) meet the purged ear: Such, as when Greece to her immortal shell Rejoicing listen'd, godlike sounds to hear;
To hear the sweet instructress tell
Such was the Chian father's strain
With equal bounty to requite,
He struck his magic strings;
And seiz'd their ears with tales of ancient worth, And fill'd their musing hearts with vast heroic things.
Now oft, where happy spirits dwell,
Who first the race with freedom fir'd; From whom Lycurgus Sparta's sons inspir'd; From whom Plataan palms and Cyprian trophies
O noblest, happiest age!
When Aristides rul'd, and Cimon fought; When all the generous fruits of Homer's page Exulting Pindar saw to full perfection brought.
O Pindar, oft shalt thou be hail'd of me: Not that Apollo fed thee from his shrine ; Not that thy lips drank sweetness from the bee; Nor yet that, studious of thy notes divine, Pan danc'd their measure with the sylvan throng: But that thy song Was proud to unfold
What thy base rulers trembled to behold;
Amid corrupted Thebes was proud to tell
The Muse's law didst rightly know;
That who would animate his lays,
Are there, approv'd of later times,
And lent the imperial ruffian aid?
Alas! not one polluted bard,
No, not the strains that Mincius heard,
Dare to the Muse's ear aspire;
Save that, instructed by the Grecian lyre, With Freedom's ancient notes their shameful task
* Octavianus Cæsar.
Mark, how the dread Pantheon stands,
So mark thou Milton's name; And add, "Thus differs from the throng The spirit which inform'd thy aweful song, Which bade thy potent voice protect thy country's
Yet hence barbaric Zeal
His memory with unholy rage pursues;
While from these arduous cares of public weal She bids each bard begone, and rest him with his Muse.
O fool! to think the man, whose ample mind
Must grasp at all that yonder stars survey; Must join the noblest forms of every kind, The world's most perfect image to display, Can e'er his country's majesty behold,
Unmov'd or cold!
O fool! to deem
That he, whose thought must visit every theme, Whose heart must every strong emotion know Inspir'd by Nature, or by Fortune taught; That he, if haply some presumptuous foe, With false ignoble science fraught, Shall spurn at Freedom's faithful band; That he their dear defence will shun, Or hide their glories from the Sun, Or deal their vengeance with a woman's hand!